Tribute to Bessie Smith


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Join the tribute to Bessie Smith! One copy of a limited first edition of BackWaterBlues in search of Bessie Smith, by Prof. Sara Grimes, will be auctioned on eBay starting March 1 with proceeds to go to the Chattanooga African-American Museum/Bessie Smith Hall. The winning bid will be matched by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in celebration of its selecting Bessie Smith as the first woman to be honored in its annual American Music Master series.

Ms. Vilma Fields, director of the Chattanooga African-American Museum/Bessie Smith Hall, will use the eBay auction proceeds to help a Howard School student(s) attend the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's American Music Master conference honoring Bessie Smith, co-sponsored by Case Western University, in September 2001. Chattanooga's Howard School plays a significant role in BackWaterBlues.

BackWaterBlues in Search of Bessie Smith, hard cover, Smythe bound, 7 x 10, 304 pages with 16 pages of documents, maps, black/white and color photographs, Rose Island Publishing Co., Amherst, 2001. First edition limited to 100 copies.

“The book is a wonderful combination of biography, history, interpretation, revelation, and journey -- not just Bessie Smith's journey from childhood to artist, but the author's personal and professional journey as she engaged in the research and writing. It is a compelling combination." -- Professor Marsha V. Marotta, Westfield State College

Bid high! Bid often!


Sara Grimes, professor emerita, Journalism, University of Massachusetts/Amherst http://www.backwaterblues.net/

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